In a piece Seth J. Frantzman wrote about how the US is juggling too many agendas in eastern Syria.
He writes “The problem the US faces is that it is trying to do too many things at once and it has misled most of its allies and partners by speaking out of two sides of its mouth. This is partly because the Pentagon, the US State Department and the White House are all pursuing different agendas. These can be broken down roughly into a pro-Turkish agenda, an anti-ISIS agenda and an anti-Iran agenda.
Why they are pursuing different agendas is largely a result of the way the war on ISIS developed. When this began, the US had an agenda to support the opposition to the regime of Bashar Assad during the Arab Spring in 2011. Then ISIS emerged and the Pentagon began Operation Inherent Resolve to defeat ISIS in 2014. This led directly to a partnership with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in eastern Syria, the main force fighting ISIS. Two agendas emerged, one to remove Assad and another to defeat ISIS. They were not the same agenda because defeating ISIS could foresee them handing the areas liberated from ISIS back to the Syrian regime. The US doesn’t want that, but under the Obama and Trump administrations, opposition to Assad has changed to opposition to the Iranian presence in Syria.”
Read the full piece